A local debate is currently ongoing regarding the future of a skatepark in Stafford. The skatepark which is situated on the new Redrow housing estate just off the Tixall road is often affectionately called “The Crem” by those who use it.
On the 12th January 2021 a letter was sent to local residents which mentioned due to a number of anti-social behaviour issues some of which have involved the police, Redrow are submitting a proposal for the replacement of the skatepark with something they feel would be more appropriate to the estate. The proposal suggests removing the skatepark and replacing it with what is known as “Trim-Trail” a natural wood play and exercise facility aimed at younger children.
This letter has been driven by complaints from a group of residents who have been campaigning for Redrow to deal with the skatepark since February 2020. In a statement to Stafford FM the resident wrote:
“Most residents of the Redrow estate believed the MUGA and skatepark were to be for the benefit of us and our children. Sadly, the skatepark has caused many, many issues which the wider development may or may not be aware of. It continues to attract youths and adults (much older than anticipated) from far and wide across Stafford (and some from as far as Dudley and West Midlands!) some of whose behaviour has actually become a deterrent to children, youths and adults in the immediate area. Some parents will be aware that there are long spells where it becomes a “no go” area and even us adults may not relish walking on the public open space at certain times.”
We also spoke to a number of local residents who have been raising concerns following incidents of people urinating in their garden (due to there being no toilet facilities at the park) and the consumption of alcohol and drugs at the site, amongst a long list of other anti-social behaviour issues.
Word that the skatepark might be removed has obviously been met with strong opposition from those in the skating community. A petition appeared online and has been widely discussed and debated on local social media forums. At the time of writing the petition has been signed by over 1850 people calling for the skatepark to remain in place as they believe it to be an excellent skating facility that teens and young adults can enjoy rather than just a play park for children.
Stafford FM spoke to a local skater campaigning to save the park who wrote:
“It’s the best public skatepark in Stafford by a long shot, a welcoming environment for young people and parents and children willing to learn to skate. If it were to be demolished, and an equal standard skatepark not be provided in a local area, the council and Redrow Homes, would have failed the general public”
We spoke to a number of other skaters who believe they are being unfairly targeted as they feel the majority of the people use the skatepark with respect, however they cannot help the action of a few who ruin it for everyone.
There are currently a number of public skating facilities in the Stafford area, most notably Victoria park. Other skating facilities in the area include Wildwood park, Charnley Road and Holmcroft (Currently under redevelopment) https://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/stafford-borough-parks
Redrow Midlands insist that the future of the skatepark is not set-in stone at this time and a spokesperson for the company said:
“Following concerns raised regarding anti-social behaviour at the skate park at the development in Stafford, we have approached local residents to gather further feedback on a potential change in the facilities. As they are contributing to the upkeep of the area, it’s important for us to listen and make sure the equipment available and layout best suits their needs. However, at this stage, we’d like to stress that no decision has been made.”
“Once all the feedback has been collated, we’ll determine our next steps, whether that be to keep the park open or provide an alternative outdoor facility for young people. Should any changes be made, we will proceed through the official channels in a transparent manner.”
You can have your say in our comments section on https://www.facebook.com/weareSFM and we will forward them onto Redrow so your voice is heard
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